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13 'ran from lorry on motorway'

Thirteen suspected illegal immigrants have been detained after being spotted running from the back of a lorry on a busy motorway.

Rush-hour traffic had to be slowed between junctions 12 and 13 of the M25 in Surrey as police dealt with the incident this morning.

Surrey Police tweeted: "Traffic slowed on M25 12-13 due to 13 people seen running from the back of an HGV. All detained and arrested for immigration offences."

Details of the nationalities and ages of those held were not immediately available.

It is the latest incident involving suspected illegal immigrants being found in the backs of lorries on British soil.

A Home Office spokeswoman said they do not hold statistics on the number of them detained in Britain recently.

Last Friday a man was arrested for alleged "facilitation offences" after 24 Eritrean nationals were discovered in the rear of an HGV in Whitfield, near Dover, Kent.

Paramedics from South East Coast Ambulance Service checked them over at the scene but none needed hospital treatment.

Across the English Channel, there has been heightened tension over the number of migrants using Calais as a staging post to try to reach the UK.

Hundreds of migrants, mainly from Africa, are camping or living in squats there, which has led to clashes on the streets in northern France.

The lorry drove from the scene before officers arrived, Surrey Police said.

The force said: "Thirteen people are in custody on suspicion of immigration offences following an incident on the M25 this morning.

"Surrey Police received a number of calls around 8.50am from members of the public reporting that they had seen a large group of people getting out of the back of a lorry, which had stopped on the hard shoulder between junctions 11 (Chertsey) and 12 (the M3).

"The lorry drove off prior to officers attending the scene.

"However, the 13 people, including men and women, were located walking along the M25 and were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.

"They are currently in custody and the UK Border Agency has been informed."

Those detained are believed to be from Ethiopia, police said.

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